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House of Horror Parents Charged in The Infant Deaths As Disturbing Conditions Children Were Forced To Live In Are Revealed In Court

December 17, 2014  |  Posted by: Giovanni DePhillips
House of Horror Parents Charged in The Infant Deaths As Disturbing Conditions Children Were Forced To Live In Are Revealed In Court Image courtesy of huffingtonpost.com

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Four months after police discovered gruesome conditions in Blackstone, Massachusetts, where three dead children were discovered with four children living in horrid conditions , prosecutors have revealed new details.

The parents of all the children have been charged, with committing what prosecutors say are the most heinous crimes.

Shaking visibly in court as he listened to child abuse charges against him were read in court, the father, 38-year-old Raymond Rivera pleaded not guilty for his alleged actions, or inactions, while living in the house of squalor at 23 St. Paul Street in Blackstone, Massachusetts, when a Worcester County grand jury indicted him Tuesday.

Image courtesy of bostonherald.com

Image courtesy of bostonherald.com

Charges against his girlfriend and mother of the children, Erika Murray, were upgraded to murder.

DNA testing reveals both were parents of seven children; four living, three found dead in the home, despite Rivera saying he did not know about the 3-year-old and 6-month-old in the house.

“The noise level caused by the 6-month-old’s crying in the home was blistering, and that the 3-year-old would repeatedly bang on the walls and the door of the bedroom that she was confined in. The evidence has indicated that this defendant, Ray Rivera, slept every night in a bedroom that was literally seven or eight feet away,” said Worcester Assistant District Attorney John Bradley.

The details were hard to hear for anyone sitting in the courtroom, let alone what those children went through.

While the house has since been demolished, photos remain of the inhumane conditions inside.


“According to this neighbor who testified at the grand jury, the 3-year-old appeared to have been, and these were her words, dipped in feces. There was feces on the walls of the bedroom, there were soiled diapers stacked over a foot high in the bedroom in which the 3-year-old was found. The 6-month-old was in a similar condition,” Bradley said in court.

Rivera’s attorney says her client, who was supposed to visit the two oldest children this afternoon, maintains his innocence.

“It was troubling to stand next to him knowing this man, and I’m sure it was difficult for others. He is despondent at this point,” said Rivera’s defense attorney, Nicole Longton.

And still the question lingers, how did no one else know what was going on?

“We don’t think there was anyone that was outside of that house that had any idea what was going on inside that house other than the people who were there. There were different people in that house but how far they were into the house is a matter I can’t speak of at this point,” said Worcester District Attorney Joseph Early Jr.

Keith Halpern, Erika Murray’s attorney is aggravated that this indictment was rushed through, saying, “In the absence of a medical examiner’s report, what we have is children who have died for an unknown reason. The allegation is that even though they don’t know how the babies died, she must have done it.”

Bail for Rivera was set at $100,000 cash.

He’s due in court on January 14.

Murray will be arraigned on the murder charges on Dec. 29.

7News Boston WHDH-TV

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